By Jack Ramu, Isabella Busse and Lama Younis
For the Forsyth County News
Ever since 2015, the Forsyth Central Alumni Association has chosen four high achievers from a competitive group of nominees to be included in the Forsyth Central Hall of Fame. Current members include former teachers, administrators, and prominent students.
This year’s group is no different; it includes a celebrated musician, star athlete, and others who have made positive contributions to society after having graduated from FCHS.
Due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19, FCAA was unable to hold an in-person induction ceremony this fall, but plan to include the 2020 inductees next year alongside the 2021 class when it is elected. However, the Alumni are some of the most prominent figures of our community, and we wish to honor them in more ways than one.
Steven Benson has lived a colorful life in Forsyth County. He graduated from Central in 1968 and is an inductee for the 2020 Alumni Association. When Benson joined the C-House, he left a positive mark in the school’s history. Throughout his four years, he was involved in sports and extracurriculars including, football, track, band, chorus, Beta Club, FC Club, Y Club, Hi-Y Club, yearbook staff, Science Club and Key Club.
Benson expressed some of his fondest memories of Central, like meeting his wife of 49 years, Stephanie. He also recounted tales of his chemistry class with his favorite teacher, Doug Frederick.
Benson created lasting changes in Forsyth County. He was principal of Chestatee Elementary, and in the fall of 1981, he opened Coal Mountain Elementary School. During this time, he also joined the Silver City Station 7 as a firefighter. He is actively involved with the development of education in Forsyth.
Frances Mooney, a 1966 graduate of Forsyth Central High School, was nominated for the Fine Arts category in the Forsyth Central Alumni Association Hall of Fame. Her distinguished musical career started in high school when she would endlessly practice her singing. In an interview with Mooney about her time in high school, she highlighted some of her favorite FCHS memories, ranging from supportive teachers to caring friends.
“I don’t have any bad memories of my high school days,” Mooney said.
Apart from participating in clubs like 4-H, Mooney was consistently supportive of her school and peers. “Forsyth Central is the place where I got my education, and I’d like to support it in any way that I can to continue the education for the kids coming up today… it’s something I’ll never forget,” she said.
Linda Lang is one of the most generous donors in the Forsyth Central Alumni Association, having earned the title “Top Dawg.” She is also a member of the alumni board. She says she continues to reach out to FCHS because, “it is a very special place,” and she received the resources she needed for success there.
“It is a school where students are cared about and encouraged,” she recounted, and spoke fondly of her memories in the classroom and especially in the Future Teachers of America Club.
Lang is a respected educator in the Forsyth area, having worked at Cumming and Midway elementary schools and North Georgia College. She is also a prolific member of the community. She has volunteered with the American Cancer Society, is a leader of the Forsyth Retired Educators Association, outreach leader at the First Baptist Church, and is even the chair of the Cumming Fair Schoolhouse Committee. Her nominator says that she has “always worn many hats and worn them all well.”
Our final nominee, Glenn Sutko, was the first major league baseball player from Forsyth County. He graduated from Central in 1986, and one year later he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. He played 11 games with them, from 1990 to 1991.
Today, he owns and operates a nonprofit baseball association in Cherokee County.
The Alumni Association supports the mission of Forsyth Central, which is to “lead students to become productive American citizens who will solve problems, communicate effectively, and serve selflessly.”
Donations support Central academics, arts, and athletics, and promote excellence in the community by honoring the past, celebrating the present, and providing for the future. The selfless members allow the school to provide opportunities for all students in all areas, which will lead graduates to be successful members of society.
Jack Ramu, Isabella Busse and Lama Younis are students at Forsyth Central High School.